Oil prices stable after slide

London - The global oil market held firm on Thursday after sliding in the previous session in response to rising US oil output.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in November rose 16 cents to $44.64 a barrel compared with Wednesday's close.

Brent North Sea crude for November delivery added six cents to stand at $47.81 a barrel around midday in London.

Crude futures had fallen on Wednesday after the US government's Department of Energy revealed that American oil production rose last week by 19 000 barrels per day to 9.136 million, snapping a six-week run of lower production.

That overshadowed figures showing US commercial crude inventories sank 1.9 million barrels in the week ending September 18.

"The slight week-on-week increase in US crude oil production is doubtless to blame for (prices) coming under pressure," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch in a research note to clients.

"This presumably came as a disappointment in particular to those market participants who had been betting on a faster reduction of the oversupply given all the previous reports of declining drilling activity."

The news came hours after it was announced that a gauge of factory activity in China had hit a six-and-a-half-year low in September, stoking fresh demand fears in the world's second-biggest economy.

Concerns about a slowdown in the global economy, particularly in key energy consumer China, combined with an oversupply have seen crude prices fall more than 60 percent from last year's peaks above $100 a barrel.


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